The absolute benchmark for premium wine is the ability to show the vineyard and the grape variety. That's what you've got that no one else can replicate. A place in the world, and a grape variety to act as the medium to portray that, and give an understanding of place that nothing else can. That's it. That's most of wine.
But... look I've gone down a bit of a rabbit hole over the past five years or so. Exploration of different winemaking styles, and regions and cultures. Basically a lot of drinking.
And my work in the winery has evolved rapidly in that time as well; going further and further out on a limb. It's not like I'm adding anything to the wine; but, when you're letting it face larger environmental influences (temperature, air, etc), well, you start questioning how gentle your hand really is.
I have a permanent state of wondering if I don't just have a small part of the picture. Now, I've got some truly epic wine that I'm about to release, and I'm pretty confident in that... but is it luck? Or worse, have I bastardised my own canvas?
However, I'm really starting to think there's more to it.
The thing is... this whole "minimal intervention" thing is not easy to do. When you make the kind of sacrifices you need to make to produce premium wine like this, the wine ends up inadvertently telling you as much about the winemaker as it does the vineyard.
All I'm saying is, maybe it's okay to play a bit. Respect the vineyard and the fruit, don't try to make it something that it's not, but showing the winery might just be okay too. I'm not doing anything revolutionary in the winery, but it's absolutely unique. Besides, it's part of the wine's journey; and that journey of development and growth doesn't end when the fruit comes off of the vine, it keeps going right up until you drink it.
That journey seems as worthy a part of the truth of a vintage as anything, and well worth showing.
Forgive my ramblings; they're my attempt to quell my unquiet mind. Drink this wine, and it's all worthwhile. Thank you for your time.